What is a Bathroom Exhaust Fan Used For? Exclusive Guide

What is a bathroom exhaust fan used for

The bathroom exhaust fan is a mechanical ventilation device that sees the exhaustion of the air in the premises to the outside while using a flexible tube or a metal duct.

The bathroom fan will generally improve the conditions of your bathroom by improving the air quality. It is a great idea to have a bathroom exhaust fan and also in the building code for exhaust fan for the new construction.

A bathroom exhaust fan is a good addition to your bathroom and will be beneficial in the long run.

Most people tend to think the main purpose of the bathroom exhaust fan is for the elimination of odors from the bathroom while it plays another vital role of ensuring the air is clear of moisture created by steam released when showering.

The elimination of warm moist air is purposed to avoid the growth of mold, mildew, and other microorganisms. In case your bathroom always smells musty you ought to consider getting a bathroom exhaust fan and have your place inspected to ensure no growth of mold.

How do bathroom fans work?

The absence of a bathroom fan will see your bathroom experience excessive moisture buildup which increases the chances of damaged bathroom walls, bathroom fixtures as well as the floors.

The warm air full of humidity creates a conducive environment for mold and mildew. The high levels of moisture in the bathroom will see other rooms’ breakdown from the walls to the paint and the doors.

To be able to avoid all these, you may take into consideration of having a bathroom exhaust fan installed. A bathroom exhaust fan is connected with a standard 120-volt household electrical current, which is similar to other electrical fixtures in the house.

The bathroom may be connected similarly to the other electrical fixtures such as bulbs. The bathroom fan is switched on similarly to the bulb switch and a timer could be set on it on when to go off.

Switching the fan on will see air being drawn out of the bathroom through the fan enclosure to a plastic hose leading to the outside. A plate is used to cover the duct when not in use.

The bathroom exhaust fan differ in sizes, style, color and maybe a combination of a heater, light, and fan all at the same time. Some have gone a step further with the incorporation of a Bluetooth and a speaker capability. This will allow one to stream in music while enjoying a shower.

You should be able to pay attention to the sound produced when the fan is operational. It should not be too loud as a loud fan may be too distracting. Pick one with a sound rating of 1.0 sones and below will allow you to enjoy a quiet time in the bathroom enabling you to relax.

Want to learn more about The Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan? Read my detailed review here ⇒ Best Bathroom Exhaust Fan with Light & Heater.

You should be able to make the most critical decision by ensuring the fan will be able to work efficiently for your bathroom. The exhaust fan capacity is measured in CFM (cubic fit per minute) which translates to the volume of air moved in a minute by the fan.

The greater the capacity of the fan the better the capability of the exhaust fan to clear the air. You should be able to pick a bathroom exhaust fan that will work efficiently in your bathroom regarding size of the bathroom and the number of individuals using the bathroom.

Note that the exhaust fan could at times be too strong for the bathroom creating a negative pressure in the bathroom. This is most likely to interrupt the functioning of the furnace from time to time by taking out the cold air through the window and not the bathroom.

It is therefore, crucial to go for the right size of the bathroom exhaust fan so you can enjoy it fully. These are the measurements to go with when considering purchasing a bathroom exhaust fan.

  • Not beyond 50 square feet: 50 CFM
  • Beyond 50 square feet: 1 CFM per square foot

The HVI (home ventilation institute) do independent tests of the bathroom fans and certify them when they can meet the set standard in the industry.

Fans that are certified by the HVI give you the guarantee to perform as they state, that is when they are picked with the recommended size and when installed correctly.

Installation Hacks

Have your bathroom exhaust fan in areas known to be most moist in the bathroom; this may be near the shower or over the sink.

In a bathroom, with an open plan, you may opt to position the fan in the middle between the toilet and the shower. For the small-sized bathroom placing the fan in the middle of the room would be a great idea.

Be sure that the exterior vent louver is operational and shuts fully when the exhaust fan is not in use. This will prevent the cold air from getting into the house when the exhaust fan is not operational.

Be sure to protect the metal duct or the flexible hose which leads the fan housing to the outside. This will see the reduction of the indoor heat to the outside.

The seal cap beneath the bathroom door should at no time be sealed tightly. A gap of ¾ inch should be left to allow for the replacement of the air exhausted by the exhaust fan.

In cases where the ceiling is high up to 9 feet, you will need to consider an exhaust fan with a higher capacity.

Are bathroom exhaust fans important?

All bathrooms ought to have a bathroom exhaust fan. The steam created after taking a shower turns into moisture and gather on the walls of the bathroom.

The moisture is likely to soak into the wall through small cracks which would later lead to havoc in your bathroom. The tiles will begin to fall off the wall, mold, and mildew will simultaneously follow in.

It is, therefore, necessary to have a bathroom fan to maintain your bathroom in good condition and clean.

When is the best time to use a bathroom exhaust fan?

The moment you let water run in your shower, should be the very moment you have the bathroom fan switched on.

This will enable you to control the levels of humidity in your house. At no point should you leave the bathroom fan running all through the day and night. As the ball bearings inside are likely to lock up leading to overheating that may, in turn, cause a fire.

You could install a timer on the bathroom fan if you are likely to forget it on and have it set for 15 minutes. This will be enough time to ensure all moisture is cleared off.

How long should one run a bathroom exhaust fan?

Moisture is very harmful in the house and would lead to several problems if it is not controlled.

The level of humidity in your bathroom will see the amount of moisture in the air increase, and Moisture could sip into drywalls thus creating fungal growth in the places you won’t be able to spot it.

Being exposed to mold for long could lead to coughing, allergies, and skin irritation. Excess moisture in the air is generally harmful with the dampness encouraging bacterial growth and other micro organisms.

The simple act of switching on your bathroom fan will see you avoiding all the problems stated above. You are advised to turn on the fan every time you run the water and leave it on for another 20 minutes once you are out of the shower.

The fan should also be cleaned at least once a year to improve its efficiency and durability.

Which Fan Brand is the best & durable when it comes to the Exhaust fan?

Have you decided to have a fan in your bathroom or have the last one replaced? Let it not be of worry to you, we have listed some of the factors that you should have in mind when picking one for your bathroom.
1. Performance, this is concerning the capacity of the fan. Will it work effectively depending on the size of your bathroom
2. Noise Sensitivity. A good fan should not be too noisy when operational. The noise tends to be a nuisance when relaxing
3. Motor Selection. The motor board of the fan should be durable. Go for the permanently lubricated motor which will need less maintenance
5. The Price should be budget-friendly and you should be able to get value for your money. The exhaust fan should be able to run effectively and efficiently all through.


Does a bathroom fan aid with smell?

The bathroom exhaust fan main purpose is to assist you in getting rid of humidity left in the air after showering.

Another role it does is to get rid of odors. An unpleasant smell in the bathroom would be easily drawn out of the bathroom with the help of the exhaust fan.

This will, in turn, improve the ventilation system allowing the bathroom to remain clean, with a clear atmosphere.

Should one run the bathroom fan while showering?

Every time you let water run, you should turn on your bathroom fan. The fan will allow you to get rid of humidity in the bathroom and the unpleasant smell more easily.

A bathroom with no ventilation is likely to have a bad smell if the bathroom fan is not set right.

The bathroom fan should be left to run for another 15 to 20 minutes to make sure all the humidity is gotten rid of in the bathroom and also the ventilation duct. This will leave the bathroom clean and odorless.

What is the difference between exhaust and a ventilation fan?

The difference between a ventilation fan and an exhaust fan is the appearance with the exhaust fan most being iron-based material, while the ventilation fans are made of plastic materials.

The value of each is not based on the material despite the fact that most exhaust fans are expensive.

There are industrial exhaust fans that cannot be used at home due to their capacity. They consume a lot of power and are in general expensive.

The small-sized exhaust fan could be used at home in the kitchen to get rid of dirty gas and the price is not as expansive as the industrial exhaust fan.

The exhaust fan is mounted on the ceiling or the wall. The current exhaust fan can simply play the role of the ventilation fan, but the ventilation fan cannot play the role of an exhaust fan.

How long should one run a bathroom fan after a shower?

This is a question that bothers many all with the need to fully get rid of humidity in the bathroom.

In accordance with the electrical procedures, they stipulate that a fan should be left running for about 20minutes after a shower. This will work perfectly by ensuring all humidity is gotten rid of in the bathroom and the ventilation ductwork.

Some people do not have the time to wait for humidity to be cleared before leaving, for this matter you may opt for a fan switch with a timer and the fan would shut itself off. The bottom line is 15 to 20 minutes is enough time to ensure all humidity is cleared.

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